Capercaillie – “Fear a’ Bhàta” (The Boatman).

Hi all! 🙂

Today will be something in Scottish, Scottish Gaelic. I think it’s not very difficult to guess if you’re around here for a while that Scottish Gaelic is also one of my favourite languages, the more that I’ve mentioned it a few times already. 😀 It’s such a beautiful language. My first contacts with this language took place when I was about 12, just exploring Celtic folk music, mainly Irish and Scottish then, and, as I never heard this language before, I was greatly astonished that people can talk/sing this way anywhere in Europe, it sounded very weird to me and me and my school friends were laughing at the lyrics, which of course we didn’t understand at all, but we heard lots of funny Polish words or phrases in them and we were wondering what they really sing about. 😀 Now I’m a little bit more conscious, otherwise I don’t think my love for Celtic folklore and languages would survive this long.

So Capercaillie is a Scottish band founded by Karen Matheson and her partner Donald Shaw in 1984 and it still exists. They make folk Celtic music, but in the way I like about folk – mixing traditional instruments with more modern like electric guitar, bass or synths, and generally mixing old and new. Their music is both in Scottish and Englis, also Karen Matheson did a few solo albums. The name Capercaillie comes from the name of a native Scottish bird which is western capercaillie.

The song I’m sharing is a typically traditional, very famous Gaelic song in Scotland, caled Fear a’ Bhàta, which means The boatman. It is a love song, written by Sìne NicFhionnlaigh, or in English Jean/Jane Finlayson (literally daughter of Finlay) in 18th century. She was in love with a guy who was a boatman and looks like the times when she wrote this a bit maudlin song I’d say, were hard for their relationship. Nevertheless, apparently, things got settled down not very long afterwards and the couple married happily.

Although I know a couple more or less common phrases in Gaelic, I definitely didn’t know what’s this song about, so here’s the translation from Wikipedia

:

O Boatman, no one else
O Boatman, no one else
O Boatman, no one else
My farewell to you wherever you go
I often look from the highest hill
That I might see my boatman
Will you come tonight, or will you come tomorrow
Oh sorry will I be if you do not come at all
My heart is broken, bruised
Often tears are running down from my eyes
Will you come tonight, or will I wait up for you
Or close the door with a sad sigh?

I often ask of the boatmen
If they have seen you, if you are safe
But they all tell me
That I was foolish if I gave you love.

My darling promised me a gown of silk
That and a fine plait
A golden ring in which I’d see a likeness
But I fear that he shall forget.

Although they said you were flighty
That did not lessen my love for you
You are in my dreams at night
And in the morning I ask for you.

I gave you love and cannot deny
It’s not love that lasts a year or a season
But a love that began when I was a child
And that will not wither until death do take me.

My friends say often
That I must forget your image
But their counsel is as unfathomable to me
As is the returning tide.

I am all too sad and tearful
Like a white swan that has been torn
Sounding her death-call on a small grassy loch
Having been forsaken by all.

Here’s the song:

Yr Angen – “Revolver”.

Hi guys! 🙂

As long as I know this band Yr Angen, I really like them and they occupy quite a special place among the Welsh musicians I like. Why? Who knows… Hm… actually, there might be a few reasons. First of all, I love their alternative style. I love their guitars, I don’t know, they just are a young band, objectively probably not that very very different from other rock/indie rock bands besides that their lyrics are Welsh, but whenever I hear them, it always awakens something inside me. Even when I didn’t have a clue about their lyrics (and I’m still far from advanced and don’t even feel like intermediate in Welsh yet so my knowledge in this topic is still limited) I resonated somehow with their music. Another thing is their vocalist. That’s a weird thing really. People who know me well and whom I’ve told something about my recent crushes can notice that they sound and are masculine, I’d say. They voices are quite rich and expressive and they’re everything but androgynic as people. So if you know this and hear this guy’s voice, you could easily assume he’s not my style at all ’cause, being honest, he sounds a little bit childish, doesn’t he? Honestly he reminds me a bit about the vocalist of another Welsh band, to which I don’t listen that often, but my friend used to like them a lot, namely Budgie. But there’s something… hm, I’d say charismatic, in this combination. These wonderful guitars and all and his voice. It’s very speciffic, but I just like it. I especially like him in more rock-ish songs, like this one, I like him screaming for some reason. But oh well, his name’s Jac! 😀 Doesn’t it explain everything?! For those of you who don’t know, since I was a little girl I’ve always liked people named Jacek, Jack, Jac, Jackie, Jacqueline, almost whatever with Jac, even if not related etymologically with each other. I think they are cool names and all the people I’ve known with these names are (usually) cool, and even if not really, there’s always something about those of them I know to admire or like. This is probably because my Dad’s name is Jacek. So yeah Jacs rule! 😀 and his Welsh accent (this Jac’s from Yr Angen, I mean) is cute. I suppose, which doesn’t mean I know it, that he isn’t a first language Welsh speaker, because when I heard him talking he and his band colleagues seem to have rhotic r before vowels in Welsh and sometimes he has typical English o like in go at the end of Welsh words. And although there’s nothing more appealing in the Welsh language than a northern accent (especially my crush Gwilym’s 😀 ), it really is cute, although not heard so much as he sings.

Yr Angen means the need in English. They are from Swansea in South Wales and members of the band are Jac Davies, Jamie Price, Gareth Jones and David Williams. The song I want to share with you – my favourite song by them – is called Revolver. There are a few live versions on Youtube, but in this case album version is definitely the best and it’s not on Youtube, so I’ll link to Spotify. I only wonder why didn’t they release more than that one album years ago and I really hope it will change. Let me know what you think, whatever you think about it.

Bryn Fôn – Y Bardd O Montreal (The poet of Montreal).

Hi guys! 🙂

I’d like to share with you the second song from this singer, Bryn Fôn. It comes from the album “Abacus” and I really like it although it’s been some time since I’ve heard it for the first time. The video on YOutube has the lyrics so I think I won’t go into this.

Bryn Fôn A’r Band – Y Gân Gymraeg (The Welsh Song).

Hi! 🙂

Today I have a protest song for you. I had such a stage in my journey through music in different minority languages when I was discovering a lot of their songs simply about their discriminated and diminished languages. And as I’ve always felt kind o f protective towards extincting or endangered languages, those songs always moved me. This is one of them. The Youtube video of this song has the lyrics in both Welsh and English, plus a little bit of this song is in English as well. I’ll maybe just add that Cymdeithas Yr Iaith mentioned in this song and not translated to English is Welsh Language Society.

Bryn Fôn comes from North Wales, specifically from Caernarfonshire. He’s a famous singer on Welsh-language scene and active since many years, singing both solo and with quite a few different bands. He’s also an actor and as far as I can remember has played in the series “Pobl Y Cwm” (People of the valley), and he also is a Welsh language activist and has his own music company. I like many of his songs and this one is the first song from him I’ve heard.

Gwilym Bowen Rhys & Cpt. Smith – “Merched Yn Neud Gwallt Eu Gilydd” (Girls doing each other’s hair).

Hi! 🙂

I’d like to continue this Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci for one more day if you don’t mind, but this time it’ll be a cover, or actually, as it is written in the description of the Youtube video with it “a new version” of Gorky’s song.

It’s brilliant, made by my current musical crush – Gwilym Bowen Rhys – and Cpt. Smith. I love it. And I love the original version too, it’s a complete masterpiece, but, since Gwilym’s my crush and he has covered it, I thought I should be loyal and share his version. 😀

Song of the day – Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci- “Pen Gwag Glas” (Blue Blank Head).

Hi!

Thought I’ll share one more song by the fabulous GOrky’s Zygotic Mynci, just to indicate that in the last few days I’m listening to their music more than I’d ever suppose I would. Such a pity they no longer exist. Maybe some of you will like them too. This track is from the same album as “Meirion Wyllt” which I shared yesterday (“Barafundle).

Song of the day (30th January) – Ella Eyre – “Even If”.

Hi guys! 🙂

Very sorry I didn’t come to you on time with my song of the day for yesterday. But today I will pick two instead.

Ella Eyre’s ral name is Ella MCMahon, she’s known for her collaborations with some famous R & B artists, although I got to know her music only last Monday. I think her voice timbre is very nice. She lives in London, her dad is Jamaican and her mum is Maltese. Before ELla started her professional singing career, she has also been a keen swimmer.